To whine or not to whine, that is the question…

by Ogi Overman

In the aftermath of the most traumatic, devastating, heart-wrenching week in the history of the United States of America ‘— including 9/11, including Pearl Harbor, including Kennedy’s assassination ‘— here are a few things I will never whine about again:

‘• I will never whine about getting old. That privilege was just denied to thousands and thousands of my countrymen. I’ll be thankful for today and just deal with the aches and pains.

‘• I will never whine about having to mow the lawn or rake leaves. Imagine what folks from New Orleans and the rest of the southern Gulf Coast would give to have a yard to mow or leaves to rake.

‘• I will never whine about having too much work, too little work, or work that doesn’t pay what I feel my talents are worth. What are all the displaced people who have skills and talents supposed to do now? I’ll merely show up for work and expect good things to happen.

‘• I will never whine about having to be a caregiver for my wife. I’ll grieve, in my own way, about the fact that she has MS, but I’ll do everything in my power to make her life as rewarding as possible and not take out my frustrations on her. Even if I have to push her around in a wheelchair, at least it won’t be in putrid, waist-deep slime.

‘• I will never whine about the power blinking out during a thunderstorm and having to reset all the clocks. Isn’t it amazing how the slightest inconvenience can throw us into a tizzy? We’re all powerless anyway, aren’t we?

‘• I will never whine about all the crap on TV. There is enough worthwhile stuff on the dozen or so channels that I watch to offset all the mindless drivel on the other 150. I bet if I were sleeping on a cot in the Astrodome a 5-inch black and white and eight D cell batteries would look pretty sweet.

‘• I will never whine about rained-out baseball games, snowed-out school days, dog days of summer, or any other routine weather event. A rainstorm or dusting of snow or a stretch of days with temps in the 90s seems pretty insignificant now. Compared to’… well, you know what I’m comparing it to.

‘• I will never whine about having to keep a cell phone by my side 24/7. How many families who’ve lost touch with relatives during the anything-but-great flood could’ve used a cell phone with text messaging?

Now, having said that, here are a few things that I will continue to whine about, even more forcefully than before:

‘• I will continue to whine about the ghastly abdication of leadership and statesmanship and the utter lack of compassion and competence by this administration. The ‘president’s’ lame speeches and photo ops reinforced the fact that he can’t even fake sincerity. It sickens me that he cannot admit to one single mistake, not merely in his handling of this tragedy but throughout his whole tenure. He seems so oblivious to the obvious that I fear he is becoming delusional.

‘• I will continue to whine about global warming, destruction of the wetlands, overbuilding by callous developers in environmentally sensitive areas, cutting of funding for environmental protection and any of dozens of Bush administration rulings that fly in the face of science and common sense ‘— and allowed conditions to exist that made Katrina more deadly than it may have been otherwise.

‘• I will continue to whine about narrow-minded knuckle-draggers who claim that this was God’s way of punishing homosexuals and sinners and heretics and fornicators and anybody who doesn’t subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Bible.

‘• I will continue to whine about the dirty little secret that slowed response time to a dead halt, namely that 35 percent of Louisiana’s National Guard is currently serving in another disaster area called Iraq. Thank God Bush can’t send the Coast Guard overseas.

‘• I will continue to whine about the stifling and hopeless cycle of poverty that leads to crime, drug abuse, violence, overpopulation, child and spousal abuse, and then repeats itself generation after generation. As for the looters, Dylan said it best: ‘“When you ain’t got nothin’ you ain’t got nothin’ to lose.’”

‘• I will continue to whine about the rank hypocrisy and cowardice of Bush lackeys DeLay, Hatzert, implying that it was state and local inaction and indecisiveness that caused the system to fail and allowed thousands to die needlessly. Bush may actually have to fire someone over this travesty ‘— as in that gutless, buck-passing, incompetent FEMA director. Then again, if past is any precedent, he may give him a medal.

Yet, in the face of all this whining, I do have one thing to cheer about. When Cheney went to New Orleans last Thursday and was giving a small press conference, some local bystander hollered: ‘“Mr. Cheney, go f*ck yourself!’”

God love a Creole.

Ogi may be reached at ogi@yesweekly and heard each Tuesday from 9:30’–10 a.m. on WGOS 1070 AM.